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TeX Information

Where to find documentation for TeX and TeX-related programs

TeX documentation can be found in the following directories on the School's computer system:

If you are looking for the documentation on some obscure LaTeX package, the latex subdirectory of the first of these is the most likely place for it to be.

The page has links to all the html and pdf files for packages and guides contained in the TeXLive distribution.

You can also use the texdoc command to find the documentation for a package. (when logged in to one of the School's machines). For instance, to find documentation for the enumerate package type 'texdoc enumerate' in a terminal.

The command kpsewhich can be used to find the location of any file that TeX can find. For instance, the answer to 'kpsewhich MCA.sty' is '/usr/sms/share/TeXLive/2012/texmf-local/tex/RogerEyland/MCA.sty'.

Some useful information about LaTeX may be gleaned from the Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX 2e and from LaTeX: Structured documents for TeX.

People using LaTeX for mathematical documents are advised to use the "amsart" document class (from the American Mathematical Society) rather than "article". The basic documentation for this is the user's guide to the LaTeX package amsmath See also the documentation for the amsthm package and the User's Guide to AMSFonts, incorporating a list of all the mathematical symbols available in the AMSLaTeX system. (You may have to say \usepackage{amssymb} to get these symbols – see p.6 of the documentation.) See also the AMS-LaTeX Reference Card and the Comprehensive LaTeX Symbol List.

The main pstricks documentation seems to have disappeared from the TeXlive distribution, but it is available here. There is also a LaTeX pstricks tutorial, the latest version of which may be downloaded from (It seems to be necessary to download separate chapters separately.)

Sundry other pieces of documentation:

Some other pdf files (and tex source files) from the amsmath directory – I don't know what is in them: subeqn.pdf, subeqn.tex, technote.pdf, testmath.pdf, testmath.tex, textcmds.pdf, thmtest.pdf. thmtest.tex.

Tutorial sheets and exam question papers

People using LaTeX for tutorial sheets or exam question papers may wish to use the smstut LaTeX package provided by Daniel Daners.

Letters and Memos with USyd letterhead

Don Taylor has provided LaTeX class files to facilitate the production of letters and memos incorporating a reasonable facsimile of the University's official letterhead. (To get the genuine article you would probably have to use Microsoft Word.)

Instructions and examples can be found on Don's Using LaTeX for letters and memos page.

Note that your preamble should include either \newCrest or \colouredCrest, so that you get the currently approved version of the University logo.

Update: Daniel Daners has provided an augmented version of Don's class file, compatible with the most recent University style guidelines. To obtain Daniel's version, use


instead of


Honours students take note

Honours students are encouraged to use TeX to typeset their essays. It is advisable to start learning how to do this early in the year. You may find it useful to use an extension of LaTeX called "usydthesis" provided by Andrew Mathas. You should print out a copy of the usydthesis instructions. It is also a good idea to save a copy of the LaTeX source file for these instructions, since the source file provides a good example of how to use the system. A skeleton (or template) file is also provided.

If you aim to work on your essay using a home PC, you will need to install TeX on it. (Linux users will probably find that TeX is already installed.) To install TeX, borrow the TeXLive CD from Bruce Janson. In addition, you will have to install the file usydthesis.cls. The simplest procedure is to keep this file in the same directory as your essay file.

If your operating system is Windows, you may also wish to obtain a good text file editor for Windows, such as Winedt or Textpad. These both cost about $40, but you can try them out for free before buying. Crimson Editor is free and looks good. Alternatively you can make do with Notepad as your editor, but it is much less convenient. There are also free editors called "WinShell" and "TeXShell" that are designed for use with LaTeX and are available on the TeXLive CD. If you want help setting up Textpad for use with TeX, you can ask me (Bob Howlett); for the others you will just have to read the instructions yourself! Do not attempt to use Microsoft Word as an editor for TeX files – it puts invisible characters in the files, and they sometimes upset TeX.